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ERIC Number: ED454518
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Value of WPA Work: Theory, Practice, Discourse--and the Person.
Bergmann, Linda S.
One writing program administrator (WPA) is convinced that writing program administration constitutes, for the most part, "intellectual work," and that this intellectual work develops a specific kind of understanding that is particularly valuable to those who possess it. WPAs mediate daily between theory, practice, institutional necessities, and personal needs and values, and this can result in a particular kind of intellectual insight. This particular WPA finds that her 12 years of work have transformed the way she reads and analyzes texts and made her acutely conscious of how texts work in the world and how the writing of texts affects writers' lives. She has adapted rhetorical analysis to negotiate between the text, the world, and the writer in ways she would not have imagined a decade and a half ago. Her textual research has dealt with life writing. Her studies of exploration narratives and in particular her research on the papers of Elizabeth Agassiz investigate how genres of nonfiction like biography and exploration narratives were produced, how they have functioned in the institutional or professional contexts in which they circulated, and how they have positioned their authors as professionals. Agassiz's work on the biography of her husband, Louis Agassiz, suggests that developing this academic voice and academic presence was a good thing for her. Theorizing her own experiences with writing program administration has led this particular WPA to think about and shape her writing programs--WPAs know that programs are not developed, courses are not taught, and ideas are not generated without resting at least one foot in theory and one foot in this unofficial underbed of talk, feedback, and gossip. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A